Extinction of Languages

24/02/2009

The total number of languages in the world is estimated at 6,000. UNESCO has listed 2,500 of these languages as facing the risk of extinction. The number of speakers of these languages is diminishing for various reasons.

In countries like India, several languages, some of which are spoken by few millions of people like Kurux and Gondi have no script. Kurux speakers, who are concentrated in the provinces of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, use the script of the majority languages in their states, viz. Hindi, Oriya and Bengali. Kurux is not only spoken in several provinces of India but is an international language spoken in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.Similarly Gondi speakers who are concentrated in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh use the Hindi script.

One way of assisting the endangered languages to survive will be to assist in finding own script for these languages. This would enable people to create literature in their own languages. Of course, people can create literature in a language with a foreign script,(several European languages have nearly similar script) but it would be ideal to have a language with a distinct script to have a distinct identity.

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Indian Rupee and US $

23/02/2009

The gross domestic product of India is estimated at about US$3trillion in Purchasing Power Parity terms. In conventional terms i.e. by the current rate of exchange terms, it is around US$ 1.2 billion. This indicates that Indian Rupee is undervalued to the extent of (3/1.2) times or 2.5 times. The current rate of exchange between US dollar and Rupee is Rs.50. The correct rate of exchange should be US$ 1= Rs.20 (Rupees twenty). Till recently the rate of exchange used to be around Rs.40 per US dollar. At that time the correct rate of exchange should have been Rs.16 per dollar.

A correction may be in order.


Stimulating the economy

04/02/2009

There is economic slow down in most of the countries currently i.e. early 2009. These countries try to stimulate the economy by

  • Lowering interest rates
  • Giving tax benefits
  • Offering incentives to industries

By lowering interest rates for housing loans, vehicle loans etc. the governments try to encourage people to avail of the loans which in turn leads to construction of  houses, production of vehicles etc, thus reducing unemployment. But at the same time, people who deposit their money in the banks receive lower interest and thus the disposable income with them comes down leading lower consumption expenditure- lower retail sales, low demand and low production.

Giving tax benefits would make the companies and individuals to have additional money, but the governments would lose tax revenue and thus will not be able to undertake large infrastructural work.  Instead of reducing taxes, the governments can undertake infrastructural work and generate employment and additional spending.

Offering incentives would again reduce the government funds. It is likely that many of the industries would reduce the ex-factory prices of their products.  They would however result in lower cash balance with the governments and  lower government spending which is not good for the economy.

Cost of the production should be reduced by increasing the productivity of the employees. This could be done by requiring employees including the top managements in all the establishments in the country as well as self employed persons to work for additional one hour a day without any increase in salary.


New kurals

02/02/2009

Idleness results in loss of ability, purity
Friendship, boldness and leads to poverty

Food and sleep taken less or more
Mind and body languishing is sure

Preferential treatment for the weak and invalid
Should in decent society be made valid

As it is basis for every good deed
Affection is the real need

For future generation one should leave more
Than what he got from those no more


More kurals

02/02/2009

When you think of gain, think also of others’ loss
Then in society prevail harmony and peace

Greatest of abilities is to reform the mean
And make him on virtues keen

Good to be grateful, better is to make effort
To live without seeking others’ support


Some more kurals

02/02/2009

Those who for others’ sympathy always yearn
Good wealth and fame never earn

Only in them the real greatness lie
Who even if useful tell not lie

To help unknown and those unlikely to meet again
Is real help others are only for future gain

What use the position and wealth of one
If he wants these to benefit none?


New kurals

02/02/2009

As area, yield and production have a limit
Impose for families size also a limit

Even in pearls and diamonds one will miss
The pleasures of child’s mild kiss

Equal to child in pleasing not even
One on earth; may be in heaven

Leave friendship of those who for comforts long
But shun hard work, which is wrong